Best Tote Bags

A great tote bag can take you anywhere you need to go. One reason so many people use tote bags is due to their versatility, which gives them a wide variety of uses. These bags not only have a stylish appearance, but they have become so popular because of their simple design, fashionable appearance, and unique ability to be used for a bevy of different uses. These bags come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, and they can handle carrying just about anything you want to bring along with you to just about anywhere you want to go.

These bags offer more than just versatility. You’ll be able to carry them easily and have your items within reach as well. However, not all tote bags are created equally, and there are many options available for purchase at local stores. So, how do you know which tote bag will work best for you? To help save you time, we have done the research and created a list of the top ten best tote bags on the market today. After you review that, we’ll cover some important points to consider before you make your purchase decision.

Last Updated: September 11, 2018
By Sami Kritz:

Totin' around town in style. This list has been overhauled and now brings you the best totes available today. We have featured many unisex totes, party totes, and a few stylish feminine totes. My personal favorite addition to this list is the Fjallraven Totepack No. 1. I appreciate the style, durability, and color options.

BAGGU DUCK BAG
  • BAGGU DUCK BAG
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Stylish
  • Price: See Here
FJALLRAVEN TOTEPACK NO.1
  • FJALLRAVEN TOTEPACK NO.1
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Weather and tear resistant
  • Price: See Here
BAGGALLINI AVENUE TOTE
  • BAGGALLINI AVENUE TOTE
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Versatile
  • Price: See Here

 

10 Best Tote Bags

 

Baggu Duck Bag

Baggu’s Duck Bag offers you a nice, adjustable strap bag the features two handles as well. Comprised out of 100% recycled canvas materials, you get a bag that can be carried either over your shoulders or with the handles. This bag works well for a variety of purposes and is made to be very durable as well as stain resistant. It is also offered at an affordable price, which makes it a nice option if you are trying to save a bit of money.
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Design

Baggu’s Duck Bag is designed to give you a medium-sized bag that can fit many different types of objects. It is stain-resistant as well as strong, and the bag is offered in many different styles and colors. It is designed to be very deep to fit even oddly shaped items, giving you a 3.8-gallon capacity. Also, it has flexible stitching which means it can stretch a bit to fit many different types of objects.

Features

This bag does a great job of solving one problem that many other canvas bags have created. Many bags like this use thin shoulder straps that can rub and put pressure across your shoulders and back as you carry it. This bag, however, features a long, adjustable strap so that you can even adjust it to carry it on your back. The adjustable strap is quite comfortable, and won’t cut into your back.

Durability

Baggu’s Duck Bag is comprised out of a very durable canvas material that can handle a lot of abuse. In fact, many customers have had their bags for many years, carrying around a variety of different items, and their bags are still going strong. Also, since this bag is made to be stain resistant, and while it will wear a bit with a lot of use, it typically doesn’t rip or tear.

Value

We like the pricing of this bag since it is a very affordable option that seems to offer everything you’d need. You’ll get a comfortable shoulder strap, plenty of color choices, and a lot of durabilities. You’ll be able to use this bag for many years, and that makes it even more valuable.
Pros
  • Affordable

  • Durable

  • Lots of fashion and style choices

  • Carries all kinds of items

Cons
  • Can’t be used as a purse

Fjallraven Totepack No. 1

Fjallraven's Totepack No. 1 brings you a stylish bag with decent organizational features. This bag doesn’t come cheap, but it is built to last for years and can also be converted into a backpack depending on how you want to carry the bag. With plenty of durability and material that is both tear resistant and weather resistant, you are getting a bag that is built to last.
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Design

Besides being incredibly stylish and versatile, we admire the full zippered opening on top as well as the safety pocket inside. There are three different ways to carry this tote. You can use the long, textile, straps and carry it on one shoulder, or carry it in your hand or on your arm with the shorter, leather, handles. You can also convert this bag and use it as a backpack.

Features

This convertible bag is very lightweight and has one safety pocket inside which is perfect for important items, such as your phone or wallet. On the outside, there is one large zippered pocket, for easier access items. Offered in a variety of colors, you’ll get a bag that is made with Fjallraven's G-1,000 Eco material, and very strong.

Durability

Like all of Fjallraven's products, this bag is incredibly well-designed and built to last you for years. The signature G-1,000 material of this bag is both tear resistant and weather resistant. To further reinforce these features, the fabric is wax coated with a mixture of beeswax and paraffin. The fabric is double layered at the bottom of the tote, making it even stronger and more durable. Most people wind up having this bag for many years, so you’ll be able to utilize it for a long time.

Value

While we love all of the incredible features this bag offers and its ability to convert into a backpack, it is a more expensive option. However, you’ll wind up getting a bag that can work as either a tote or a pack, and that looks stylish either way. Also, this bag is very durable and built to last, so it is certainly worth the price.
Pros
  • Stylish

  • Weather and tear resistant

  • Very durable

  • Works as a tote or backpack

Cons

Expensive

No padding in bag or straps

Baggallini Avenue Tote

Founded by two flight attendants, this bag can take you where you need to go. Use this bag for travel, business, or pleasure. In the inner area of the bag, you get a layer of protection for your laptop and the outer area offers a very durable design. One thing to keep in mind is that most of the plain totes are made of a water-resistant nylon, but some of the printed bags are more appealing but are not water-resistant.
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Design

The Avenue tote offers you versatility and function. This bag can be worn as a purse, a handbag or as a crossbody. It has five interior slip pockets and one interior zipper pocket. There are three exterior zips but only one of them is an actual pocket. The two zippers on the back of the tote become the luggage slip. You can easily slide this bag over your luggage handles and have one less thing to carry. With the Baggallini Avenue tote, you get a bag that is not only built to last, but that can also protect the electronics and other items you place inside of it.

Features

You’ll get plenty of great features with this product, which offers you both fashion and functionality. The top of the bag zips closed to keep everything inside safe and dry. The shoulder strap is comfortable to wear, and on the inside of the bag there is a lot of extra compartments and pockets to help you both store and organize your items. One thing to keep in mind is the size of the laptop compartment. It can fit a laptop up to 10-inches high and 13-inches wide.

Durability

Baggallini offers you a very sturdy product that is designed to not only be long-lasting, but that also does a fantastic job of protecting the items you place inside it. You will not need to worry about any rips or tears in this Nylon material nor with the textile straps, which are also very durable, making this a reliable and long lasting bag.

Value

With the amount of durability that is offered by this bag and the extra layers of protection for your electronics and other items, you get a very well-designed product. This bag does come with a bit of a higher price tag but it is worth it. Plus, with all of the nice organizational features, you are getting a great value.
Pros

Great for travel

Laptop sleeve

Water resistant

Lots of color options

Cons

Could use more exterior pockets

No reinforced bottom

Dakine Party Cooler Tote

Dakine Party Cooler Tote
Dakine’s Party Cooler Tote is designed to hold items as well as food and drinks. It features a waterproof insulated cooler compartment and a bottle holder so that you can keep your food cold if you decide to bring it with you while you are on the go. This bag works as both a tote and a cooler, so you can capitalize on its versatility with both food and objects. With its affordable price, it makes a nice option if you want something that is very versatile.
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Design

Dakine’s Party Cooler Tote is comprised out of a durable polyester material and offers you a bag that gives you two necessary functions. With its ability to hold your items and also insulate your food and beverages, you’ll only need to take this one bag along with you wherever you go. You get an interior zippered pocket and a roomy main compartment as well.

Features

This bag is made to be easy to carry and offers a drink pouch that can also hold a wine bottle upright. The shoulder straps on this bag are also made to be wide and comfortable, and you’ll love the ability to stash your food while carrying your other items all in one bag. Plus, you’ll get a few nice style and color options so that you can find a fashion that suits your needs.

Durability

Overall, this bag is designed to be very reliable and is comprised out of a sturdy polyester material that offers a lot of functionality. With its waterproof cooler compartment, you will be able to pack in your food items as well as your other things and bring them along with you anywhere. With its nice design, you’ll be able to use this bag for a long time.

Value

We really like the fact that this bag will hold your important items as well as insulating and storing your food, ensuring that you only need to pack one tote when you embark outside of your house. With that versatility, we feel this is a very affordable product option. Plus, you’ll get a very durable bag that is built to last.
Pros
  • Waterproof insulated cooling pocket

  • Doubles as a food carrier and bag

  • Nice shoulder strap

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Could offer a few more style and color options

Peak Design Everyday Tote Bag

Peak Design Everyday Tote Bag
Peak Design’s Everyday Tote offers you a very well-designed and fashionable tote that can also be converted into a backpack when needed. You get a very durable bag that is made to last a lifetime. This tote is made out of a stylish and durable weatherproof Korda material. You get plenty of organizational choices, a magnetic closure system, and padded straps. While this bag is expensive, it’s built to last.
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Design

This bag is composed of weatherproof Korda, and also has a very strong foam-padded cotton twill material on the interior lining. You get a fashionable, professional style, and a bag that features magnetic closure points you can use to keep this bag closed. You’ll also get a nice system of padded straps that will feel comfortable no matter how you use the bag.

Features

Peak Design’s Everyday Tote is packed with a wide variety of great features. It has a professional, stylish look and is designed to be extremely durable. It is also weatherproof and has a magnetic closure system over the top to ensure your items stay safe. You’ll get very comfortable straps, waterproof exterior zipper pockets, and the ability to convert the bag into a backpack when you need to.

Durability

Comprised out of a very strong 500D Korda material, you get a fully weatherproof bag that features DWR padding and is poly-coated two times on both sides of the bag. The bag also comes with weatherproof outer zippers and is made to be reinforced at the straps to avoid stress points and add durability. With such a sturdy design, you’ll get a bag that is built to last a lifetime.

Value

This bag is pretty impressive with its durability and reliability, but it does fall into the expensive category. However, if you want something you won’t need to replace for many years, then this might be the bag for you. It’s very durable and is packed with so many great features, like weatherproof protection, that you’ll love using it.
Pros
  • Weatherproof

  • Durable

  • Fashionable

  • Lots of pockets

  • Converts into a backpack

Cons
  • Expensive

YALUXE Women's Oxford Nylon Work Tote

YALUXE Women's Oxford Nylon Work Tote
Yaluxe’s bag is quite spacious and features a very durable design. You get a strong oxford nylon and a waterproof coating on the bag, so you know your items will be safe inside of this bag no matter the weather. Also, the shoulder straps are wide and feature comfortable padding. With its affordable price, this is a great option if you are trying to get a long-lasting bag but you want to save a bit of money.
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Design

The design of this bag makes it a very durable product because it is made from Oxford nylon fabric material that is wear resistant, waterproof, and wrinkle resistant. Also, you’ll get a lot of pockets and straps that are reinforced so that the bag feels comfortable. Made to hold a wide variety of items, you’ll get a lot of versatility and use out of this bag.

Features

With many great features that help make this bag very functional while still offering a fashionable look, you’ll get a waterproof, wrinkle resistant and wear resistant nylon bag. Also, this bag is made to be very light, and it also features a polyester cotton lining on the inside. Plus, you get plenty of pockets including one main compartment, two slip pockets, and one interior zip pocket. You can also use the extra wristlet purse if you want to hold a phone or smaller items.

Durability

Designed to be sturdy, you’ll get a bag comprised out of high-density oxford nylon materials, meaning this bag is quite strong. Also, the bag is designed with a waterproof coating, which helps to increase the longevity of the bag while also protecting the items inside of your bag. Also, the stitching on the bag is reinforced, so you’ll get a bag that can last many years.

Value

We love how this very durable and useful bag is so cost-effective because it’s got a lot to offer. With an affordable price, you’ll get a fully waterproof bag that is made out of a very high-quality nylon for strength. Build to last years, you’ll get a very useful product at a great value price.
Pros
  • Very versatile

  • Nice pockets

  • Waterproof nylonDurable

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Handle stitching could be reinforced

Smriti Canvas Tote

Smriti Canvas Tote
Smriti's Canvas Tote offers you a nice design packed with a lot of durability and style. This bag features bronze hardware and a small leather accent for extra style. Plus, it’s made from double canvas fabric which adds a lot of durabilities and still looks great. With only a few interior pockets, some customers refer to this as their Mary Poppins bag.
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Design

The design of this bag is visually appealing. It's a bag that your significant other wouldn't be ashamed to hold for you; and with 5 colors available, they just might want one for themselves. Inside there are two slip pockets and one zippered pocket, offering an okay amount of organization. There are also two small exterior pockets for easy access items. The top of the bag features a zipper and button closure, but the zipper does not completely close across the top.

Features

Smriti's Canvas Tote can be used for a number of events. It is a convenient bag for work, shopping, or a picnic. While the top of the bag does zip almost all the way closed, you must remember that the double lined canvas fabric is not water-proof and the contents of your bag could get wet in the wrong environment. Speaking of items that you would prefer to keep dry, the interior zipper pocket can fit a 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Durability

This bag is made to last a lifetime, and with its professional stylish look and great design, you’ll have it for a long time. Plus, you’ll be able to take it anywhere with you, since it looks great and its functionality is made to be reliable for years. It is also simple to wash and will not wear down as you clean it.

Value

Smriti's Canvas Tote comes at a reasonable price. It is an attainable and stylish bag for anyone, at any age. The double lined canvas fabric is made to last until you're tired of this bag. But with such a simple design, how could you get tired of it?
Pros

Durable

Stylish

Multiple color options

Affordable

Cons

Can become disorganized quickly

Marmot Urban Hauler

Marmot Urban Hauler
Marmot’s Urban Hauler is one neat, cost-effective choice if you want a nice tote that also converts into a backpack. It is built to last with 100% polyester ripstop fabric, and it also features a storm flap that goes over the top of the bag to protect your items on the inside. You’ll also get a bag that uses padding on the shoulder straps, and features an external water bottle pocket, and some nice organizational features.
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Design

Comprised out of 100% polyester ripstop materials, you’ll get a bag that looks very classic in its style and design, and comes in several different colors. You also get a nice, convertible bag that you can easily switch from tote to backpack. Plus, you will have plenty of external and internal pocket options with this bag.

Features

This convertible bag offers a lot of nice features, including an organizer for pens and a nice, large pocket at the front. You’ll also get a pocket for a water bottle, and padding on both the back and shoulder strap areas. The top also closes with a drawstring, so your items won’t fall out but they are still easy to access. Plus, you get a few color options, and a nice, vintage fashion as well.

Durability

We love this bag’s use of 100% polyester ripstop materials because that contributes to the bag’s overall sturdiness. Designed to be tear-resistant, you’ll be able to use this bag for a long time since it is built to last for years. Also, you’ll get a bag that also features a cinch down storm collar over the top of it, which helps keep your belongings safe.

Value

This bag is a cost-effective choice for people looking for this type of product and who are shopping on a budget. With Marmot’s bag, you get a convertible tote and backpack that also comes designed out of very sturdy materials. Since it is affordable and also very durable, it’s going to give you plenty of use.
Pros
  • Affordable

  • Durable

  • Nice pockets

  • Convertible

Cons
  • Might feel awkward to carry in backpack style

Handy Laundry’s Canvas Tote Beach Bag

Handy Laundry’s Canvas Tote Beach Bag
Handy Laundry’s Canvas Bag is a very affordable option that offers you an excellent bag choice if you are shopping on a budget. You’ll get a strong bag made from 100% recycled cotton. This tote also features very sturdy construction overall. You’ll get a double-stitched bag that is built to be sturdy and reliable and can carry several items.
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Design

Handy Laundry’s Canvas Bag is designed with all-natural cotton and offers you a lot of storage space. The bag can expand at twenty-two inches wide and sixteen inches high. Also, the bottom of the bag is six inches and comes with a reinforced design. You’ll also get very sturdy nylon straps and a very lightweight bag overall.

Features

Handy Laundry’s Canvas Bag brings you a lot of great features that make this affordable bag a nice product option. With the zippered top, you will be able to close the bag to keep your items safe inside, but you can still easily access the zipper to get to your important things when you need them. Also, the bag comes in four different color choices and is designed to hold a lot of items.

Durability

Handy Laundry’s Bag is made to be very strong since it features double-stitching on every seam, meaning it is very reliable. You can place several items in this bag, and the reinforced bottom area helps to give you the support you need inside the bag. Also, the top part of the bag has a zipper so that you can easily protect the items inside of your bag.

Value

This product is one of the most affordable bags we have on our list and considering the quality and durability for the price, it’s well worth the investment. If you are shopping on a budget, you’ll wind up with a very long-lasting bag that you’ll be able to use over and over again with ease. Also, with the zippered top to protect your items, you won’t need to worry about your items inside of your bag getting damaged.
Pros
  • Very affordable

  • Durable design

  • Eco-friendly

Cons
  • Could offer more color and style options

Hedgren Perfection Large Travel Tote

Hedgren Perfection Large Travel Tote
Hedgren’s Perfection Travel Tote offers you a fashionable look and a very durable bag. With its cost-effective price tag, you’ll get an affordable bag that features several pockets and a nice, stylish look. We like the lightweight design of this bag, and how comfortable the shoulder strap is with its excellent padding.
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Design

Hedgren’s Perfection Travel Tote is designed with a nice, modern look that is comprised out of a strong polyester canvas. With its lightweight design and padded shoulder straps, it feels very comfortable to carry and you won’t feel pulled down when you use it. Also, the material is abrasion resistant, and the shoulder strap is adjustable and detachable.

Features

You’ll get a lot of great features with this bag, which really compliments its excellent overall design. There are plenty of pockets here and places to place your items. For instance, you get a front zipper pocket, three interior pockets, and leather zipper pulls. Plus, the interior of the bag offers you a nice fabric lining as well.

Durability

Made out of a very sturdy polyester material, this bag resists abrasions and tears well. It offers you strong leather zipper pulls and also has double handles. So, you’ll get a reliable product that is built to be long-lasting. With that kind of durability, you’ll get plenty of use out of the bag.

Value

This bag is surprisingly affordable considering what you get with it. The price tag is cost-effective if you are shopping on a budget, and you’ll get plenty of excellent pockets as well. The durable polyester material means that this bag is built to last.
Pros
  • Affordable

  • Durable

  • Padded, adjustable shoulder straps

  • Plenty of pockets

Cons
  • Could offer more colors and styles

 

What We Looked At When Searching For Solid Tote Bags

One of the reasons totes are so popular nowadays has to do with their versatility combined with a lot of durability as well. Most of these bags can be used for a wide variety of uses, including outdoor trips, picnics, going to work, or overnight bags. Some of these bags also convert into backpacks, and others offer a lot of internal pockets and organization.

When you are looking around to find the bag that is right for you, there are a couple of things you’ll want to consider, and we analyzed these categories for each product we listed above. The concepts you’ll want to take a close look at are design, features, durability, and value.

How well a bag is designed means the bag’s overall structure, materials, and appearance. These bags often use different types of materials, including canvas, polyester, nylon, leather, faux leather, and cotton. The most popular types of materials you’ll find include canvas, which is made to be very strong and usually costs less than some of the other types of materials you’ll find. Many canvas bags are still designed with reinforced bottoms and are double stitched, so just because they might be more affordable, that doesn’t mean they won’t last you a long time.

Polyester and nylon are two other materials you’ll find are used in these bags. Polyester and nylon are both quite strong, and they can also be constructed as ripstop fabric so that they resist tears and abrasions with ease. Also, these two materials can be easily waterproofed, so if you want something that offers weather protection, then you’ll probably need to purchase a bag with these materials in them that also features a DWR coating.

Cotton isn’t as popular of a material primarily because it’s more difficult to waterproof and unless it is combined with some other material, it won’t be as durable. Manufacturers that use cotton often combine it with polyester or nylon as well to make it more durable.

You’ll also find bags that are made of leather and faux leather. Both of these materials are durable but generally, they aren’t weatherproof or waterproof, either. They will still be durable and offer you a more professional look and style.

Features

Totes offer a bevy of different features depending on their manufacturer and style. Some of these bags come with weather protection in them, while others do not. Whether you need weather protection or something that is waterproof is going to depend on where you plan to bring the bag, how you plan to use it, and the climate you live in. These types of bags can cost more, so if you don’t need it and want to save money, then you can avoid this if you need to.

Another thing we find with many totes is that they will offer a wide variety of pockets and compartments. Some pockets come with waterproof zippers for extra protection, but whether or not you need that depends on where you live and how you plan to use the bag. Also, you’ll find bags that offer several compartments as well, and sometimes these compartments are designed to protect your electronic items, and also the other things you may have packed.

Most of these bags also have shoulder straps, and some are more comfortable than others. Shoulder straps that are wide and feature extra padding are usually the best and most comfortable options. Many of these bags are also made to help distribute weight equally as well, which will help you when you carry it over your shoulders.

Durability

Durability of the tote you pick will have a lot to do with the materials used in the bag as well as the stitching. Bags that are made with ripstop nylon or ripstop polyester are usually very durable since these bags are made to be abrasion resistant and tear resistant. Also, many ripstop material bags are also made to be weatherproof or waterproof, which typically also makes them more durable.

Double stitching is another feature that adds to the durability of the bag since it makes the seams of the bag far stronger. Also, making sure the bag is reinforced at the bottom and also at the back will mean you get far more reliability as well.

Value

Many of these totes vary widely in cost, and much of this depends on how many features you need in the bag, and whether or not you need it to last for years. Several affordable totes on our list are still designed to be durable, but the most expensive product options are built to last a lifetime. Also, bags featuring weather protection typically cost more as well. Also, usually the more features, the more expensive the bag becomes.

 

A Few More Things To Think About

Totes usually come with a bevy of different features and styles, and it is important to consider whether or not you need a bag that is weatherproofed, and if you want one that can convert into a backpack. Depending on where you live and how you plan to use the bag, you may or may not want some kind of weather protection. Also, having a convertible tote means you can use it for even more activities, like biking or hiking, and that’s something you’ll need to consider.

Weather-Proofing

Some totes come with either waterproof or weatherproof protection, but these bags also usually cost more. So, before you spend the extra money, you should consider what you really need the bag for, and where you will be taking it. If you live in a climate where you’ll get a lot of rain or snow, and you plan to use the bag outdoors, then getting a waterproof or weatherproof bag would be a great idea. If not, then you can skip on this and save a bit of money.

Convertible

Some of these totes are designed to convert into a backpack as well, which makes them even more versatile. Depending on what you plan to use your bag for, if you want it for walking, hiking, or biking, then you might prefer this feature. However, if you don’t need it, you might be able to save a bit of money on your bag choice.

 

FAQs

Q: What is the most durable material choice for these totes?

The two most durable material choices for these totes are ripstop nylon and ripstop polyester. Both of these materials come from abrasion resistant and tear resistant, which means they will last for years.

Q: If I wind up purchasing a tote on a budget, will I wind up with less durability?

That all depends on the quality of the design. There are still very durable totes that are affordable and built to last many years. However, if you do go all out and get a more expensive tote, you’ll have something that will last a lifetime.

Q: Are convertible bags really comfortable?

Most of them are, but some are not. The best way to tell this is to look at the shoulder straps on the bag. If they are wider, longer and adjustable, and padded, then the bag will work comfortably both ways.

Q: Are lightweight bags less durable?

Not necessarily. Some lightweight bags offer ripstop fabric choices and double stitching as well.

Q: If a bag is lighter, does that mean it has less padding on it?

No, not always. Depending on the fabric used, many bags that are lightweight are still padded well and provide plenty of comforts.

Q: Is it a good idea to purchase a waterproof bag?

If you live in a wet climate and you know you’ll be using the bag often when you are outdoors, then yes. If not, then you probably don’t need it and can save a bit of money.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have had an in-depth look at what makes a great tote bag and what the best of the best tote bags on the market are, you should now have a better idea about which tote bag will best fit your needs. Remember the purpose of a tote bag is to make your life easier and allow you to carry your heavy items conveniently and comfortably.

 

Sources

  1. Wirecutter Staff, Our Favorite Tote Bags, Informational Consumer Website, Nov 29, 2017
  2. Shane Roberts, The Best Tote Bags, Informational Consumer Website, Oct 17, 2017
  3. Best Reviews, 5 Best Tote Bags, Informational Consumer Website, Feb 01, 2018
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